Choice Hotels Sends Lead Creative Duties to McKinney

Agency will oversee entire portfolio of brands, including Comfort, Quality Inn and Cambria

McCann previously held the Choice Hotels creative account after picking it up in 2014. Choice Hotels
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Choice Hotels, one of the world’s largest hotel franchisors based in Rockville, Md., has named McKinney its lead creative agency following a review.

The Cheil Worldwide-owned agency said in a statement on Monday that it will begin working with the company this month to develop a new creative platform for the Choice Hotels brand as well as provide strategic and creative insight across its entire portfolio spanning subsidiary brands Comfort Hotels, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Mainstay Suites and Cambria Hotels, among others.

McKinney said it will release its first multi-channel ad campaign for Choice Hotels sometime this year, although it is not known exactly when.

“The team at McKinney impressed us with their creative thinking, deep insights and strategic vision for our new creative platform,” Brent Bouldin, vp of marketing and customer acquisition at Choice Hotels, said in a statement. “After a nationwide agency search, it was clear that McKinney was the right agency for Choice both in terms of their understanding of our industry and audience, and for the cultural alignment between our teams.”

McCann previously held the Choice Hotels creative account after picking it up in 2014. The IPG agency parted ways with the client in July before it issued its RFP.

“We mutually decided to end our relationship with Choice Hotels a few months ago and have been working through transitioning the business with the client,” a McCann spokesperson told Campaign, which broke the news that the relationship had come to an end in July. “We want to thank Choice Hotels for the opportunities they have given us and wish them well in the future.”

A McCann spokesman declined to comment for this story.

McKinney will be responsible for leading all strategy and creative development across broadcast, digital, social, radio, print and out-of-home for Choice Hotels and its individual brands. The account will be run out of the agency’s headquarters in Durham, N.C.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with the Choice team—it’s an amazing opportunity,” Gretchen Walsh, managing director of McKinney Durham, said in a statement. “We look forward to creating a multi-channel platform that will not only help drive bookings growth but also increase relevance of the Choice brand for their millions of loyal guests as well as those who have yet to visit or who haven’t stayed at a Choice Hotels property in a while.”

Choice Hotels spends an estimated $30 million a year on marketing efforts worldwide, according to R3 co-founder and principal Greg Paull. Kantar Media estimates that the company spent $41.3 million in the U.S. alone in 2017 and that same amount during just the first half of 2018.


@kitten_mouse lindsay.rittenhouse@adweek.com Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.
Publish date: January 7, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/agencies/choice-hotels-sends-lead-creative-duties-to-mckinney/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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